Tuesday, 18 November 2008
This was drawn on prepared paper with a flat-nibbed dip pen (sort of medium calligraphy width). In fact I'm loving the effect dip pens have on simple lines. They're not as random to use a a stick dipped in ink, or as uniform as fine-liners. Brush pens create a sweeping line with smooth edges. Whereas dip pens require respect whilst using them, as they seem all easy-going one moment, then BAM, you get a funky squiggle, and they can lay down a lot of ink in one go so that, when you draw over a line, you get some pooling where they cross. I've been using the nibs from cartridge pens as dip pens so, as the drawing session progresses, the reservoir fills up so you don't have to 'dip' so often. Magical.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Then, I started scribbling a skyscape on cartridge paper, which then took off and became this mad view of Penshaw Monument. There's not enough contrast for me to be totally happy with it, but I like the layering and inter-mingling of colours and lines. Again, maybe I'll rip it up and turn it into something else.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Friday, 14 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
This image was made by lino-print on paper I'd pre-painted with acrylic paints. I made three prints of the monument, and I printed the sky directly into the Moleskine book. The printed images were then cut up and re-assembled, making the monument quite textural on the page.
Now I intend to make more of these images, using similar construction techniques, exploring different backgrounds and colour-ways, as this was done in summer, and we are now well into autumn here. So much so that the constant drizzle we're getting has prevented me photographing Penshaw. Digital camera + driving rain = insurance claim.
Monday, 3 November 2008
So I thought I'd share it with you because I haven't any of my own works to post about at the moment.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
I'm now at the stage where I want some more pastels to work with, as I mentioned previously. I want to get to grips with the fantastic sage green of the trunks, and capture the moody shadows amongst the foliage.
This is the box of pastels I'm working with and, as you can see, they're mostly brights.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Monday, 20 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Because there's no detail in the treetop to hold the eye, I think the background is a distraction here. I could have done with simplifying the background more, and emphasised the strong shapes in the tree. Writing this I'm now hoping for a dull day so I try out that idea. I do like the vague dark haze created by the background planting, with suggestions of water and buildings beyond.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
I initially dotted on the foliage of the tree, like dabs of paint impressionist-style, but I found it too hard, so I smudged it, then added the side-lit leaves on the left, and I think I like it. In fact I love it. The sea is the wrong colour, the tree trunk is wrong and I don't know how to fix it, but I'm not going to loose sleep over that. I'm just amazed already about how much colour I'm seeing in a view I've glanced at every day for nearly 15 years, but have never taken the time to look at.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Anyway, my parents were always delighted when I would ask for some new art materials, because I think they thought I was neglected compared to my sister. I must interject here that my parents had little money - it's not like they lavished us with extravagant gifts, and my sisters and I always valued anything were were given, be it new or second hand. I'm getting off subject.
My first set of pastels. Right.... so, this morning in the post is the book 'Colour and Light in Oils' by Nicholas Verrall. At the very beginning he says....the first important decision for an artist is which medium to use..... so we need to find the medium that we feel most happy with, the one that offers us the greatest potential to work in a positive, uninhibited way.'
Okay, so he'll never win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but this idea is timely for me because I am tackling colour - a subject I have avoided for a long time and which I'm determined to got to grips with. Choosing to work in a new medium would be taking on too much at once, and I'd be distracted by learning new techniques when I'm trying to learn about colour.
Hence, I am working in soft pastels. I am not an expert in them, let me get this straight from the start. BUT, they hold no fear for me, unlike the tense thrill I get from painting in oils. I can get them out when I have 20 minutes to spare, and pack them away quick when the kids threaten to interfere.
I may write about the paper I'm using, but I haven't got the pad handy so I won't right now. I want to tell you about this picture; it's the view across the road as I stand in my porch, leaning on the window sill (with a cup of sweet white tea). There's a row of trees on a grass verge, with a planted area behind, then the drop down to North Dock, and the mouth of the River Wear and the North Sea beyond. It's quite a simple view, with a lot of sky above which maybe I'll get into later, or maybe not. I like the lollipop trees, and at 7.30 am in the morning they're lit from the left/behind by the cold rising autumn sun.
This is the first of what I hope to be at least a dozen or so paintings of this subject. I was interrupted by the kids toward the end, and when I returned to the porch I decided to leave this one as it was.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Pros - I'm looking intently at colour, and working on the same hand subject over and over is stopping from jumping to conclusions and making me really look. It's nice to line up the drawings next to each other afterwards and look at the differences the light and weather and changing seasons are making to the same scene.
cons - the limited colours I have are dissatisfying, and the scribbling of the fine nibs isn't letting me lay down colour fast enough. With this technique I'm left with a lot of white paper in the background which is diluting the effects I'm after.
Conclusion - abandon felt tip pens, reach for soft pastels, continue with colour studies.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
Thursday, 2 October 2008
I do think that the dark areas need to be even darker. What do you guys think?
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
The top left is looking messy and ambiguous, so next I want to work in some colour and emphasise what is foreground and what recedes.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
This is in it's very early stages yet, but I'm happy with the way it's going. You can still make out the areas I've mapped out with a 2B pencil, with the in fill done in Faber Castell Manga brush pens so far.
Friday, 26 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
I love the undulating across the columns. When drawing on site I often loose track of the shadows and get lost in the detail. Photos like these mean I can go home and take a step back from the wind and grass.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Sunday, 21 September 2008
I remember that when I was a child my dad would always exclaim, "It'll be nice when they get the windows in and the roof on!"
Friday, 19 September 2008
I have taken on a challenge of working on it for 6 months, so we'll see where I end up around February 2009. As I post images I'll include some of it's history along the way.
I spent yesterday morning there making sketches and paintings and taking photos.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
Now, there's a hare, which my dad has named Hector, who visits dad's house daily, and great joy was felt when my sisters and I visited some weeks back, and we all got to see that hare in the garden. He's a bold, strong looking chap.
I decided to turn the village rabbit into a hare for my dad. I can only show you the sketches because I didn't photograph the end result, which I've painted on my dad's key box, but I'm sure dad will send me a photo and I can then share it with you all. For now, you'll have to make do with the rough stuff.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
I've had a fantastic time and I have great plans for our summer break next year.
BUT, it's time to get back into my routines at home, and to dust off the drawing table.
What's to come? Well, I've been working in the Moleskine exchange books, I want to make notes about the exhibitions I've been visiting over the summer, and I'm determined to resume daily drawing and painting. I've enjoyed the break from it all, but goodness - it's good to be back.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
He was involved in a car crash yesterday when an oncoming car did a right hand turn across the road in front of him while he was driving on a dual carriage-way at 60 miles an hour. Dad clipped the guy's rear end and spun. Luckily he stayed on his side of the carriage-way so didn't hit any oncoming traffic (there wasn't a central barrier on this road), and his air bag went off, preventing any injuries. Dad's shook up, but is okay other than that. His car has been written off, but hey, that's nothing. It could have been so, so much worse.
I only thought I'd mention it as he comments regularly on my blog, and has always supported me in my artistic endeavours (and manages to pinch all my best stuff for his own house). He has internet at home but not broadband so I'll not be blogging while I'm there, but I will be drawing and painting. So I'll speak to you all again soon and God bless.